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The SCAM1 Camera System

System Description:

SCAM1 is a CCD camera system designed for astronomical observations. It allows acquisitions in Time Delayed Integration (TDI) mode (also known as scanning mode) and in normal full-frame mode. The detector is a Loral, grade A, thick front-illuminated CCD, 15 µm 2048 x 2048 pixels. The camera performs readouts at a rate of 400 Kpixels/sec, and converts analog data with 15 bits resolution.  It includes a user I/O port which can be used for controlling a filterwheel (not included).

The SCAM1 System consists of:

Camera Head Electronics (CHE) module which includes the CCD detector and the preamplifier, and is housed in a  thermoelectric/liquid circulation camera head.
Alternatively the CHE can be delivered in an Infrared Labs LN2 cryogenic dewar.

Camera Controller (CC) which sends user commands to the CHE, generates the clock waveforms for the charge shift and readout, performs the analog to digital conversion and supervises the data transfer to the host computer.

Camera Interface Board (CIB) which is housed in the host PC and transfers data between the CC and the PCI bus.

Camera Control Software (CCS) which supports the full functionality of the camera from a user-friendly GUI interface under the Windows NT 4.0 operating system. CSS includes:

  • readout of user-selected sub-arrays
  • real-time display for TDI exposures
  • real-time monitor of camera temperature
  • filterwheel control
  • FITS image format
Control Software Libraries are also delivered for user-specific software development.


Minimum Requirements for the Acquisition and Control PC:

  • CPU: Pentium 200 MHz
  • 64 Mbyte RAM
  • 1 Gbyte free space on the disk
  • Windows NT WorkStation 4.0
  • 1  free PCI slot
  • 1  free ISA slot
  • Graphics Board with 4Mbyte RAM and 1280 x 1024 pixels, with 16 bit colors.